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Is technology the issue?

Part 2 in a 3-part series on what gets in the way of student achievement

In some way or another, technology affects the lives of everyone—whether that be a cell phone, a washing machine, or a calculator. 

Technology has advanced so much over the years that online schooling has started to take over in an in-person learning environment. Less paper assignments are handed out, and more technology is implemented into classrooms. 

At WHS, each student is assigned their own chromebook that they are obligated to take home every night so that they are able to complete their online homework. 

What happens to those who are unable to access WiFi at home? What happens with a student whose parents set restrictions on technology use? What happens if technology somehow fails everyone one day? 

The December 2023 eSchoolNews article What is one negative effect technology has had on education? explains that technology has increased screen time concerns, social isolation, and distractions in the classroom. 

Since Covid, screen times have increased more than before. During Covid, everyone communicated through social media and have continued to communicate through a screen since then. People are still living as if we are being held captive in our own homes. 

People are isolating themselves to the point where they are starting to lack basic developmental social skills. It may seem practical to hand over a laptop to each and every student at WHS because of the global rise in technology use, but does that mean the school is urging students to live through a screen?

It may be clear that cell phones are a big distraction in the classroom, but how are chromebooks taking their focus away from the little computer in their hands? Staring at a screen all day can enforce the habit to continue to stare at a screen.  

Even state tests, like the SAT, are now online. Students are expected to stay off their phones and pay attention in class, yet advanced technology is pushed into their faces daily. 

There are often complaints about students’ lack of motivation towards school. The blue light that emits from screens often strains your eyes. The lack of motivation can come from the headaches or eye soreness that comes along with the long periods of time spent staring at their screen.

With the wide range of information that is available on the internet, schoolwork is becoming a “yawn” to students. They have the answers to any assignment right at their fingertips. With the click of a few keys, the information they need can be found within seconds. 

Students need more engagement and interaction with the topics they are learning about in class. By having a better balance between online and paper schoolwork, students will be able to be more attentive in class.

In fact, more paper assignments should be handed out rather than everything being online. If there are more things to keep the students engaged in learning, the more their motivation to get the assignments done will rise. 

Mrs. Kucharski, the psychology teacher at WHS, uses hands-on learning to make students really get an understanding of the topic. Personally, the activities she has my class do to prepare us for tests has helped me and my classmates remember specific things about the brain significantly better than basic study guides. 

Hands-on learning has statistically been proven to be more beneficial than your average lecture which is further explained in How Hands-on Learning Benefits Children of All Ages. By having students physically participate in an activity it greatly increases their ability to retain information.

People say that Covid-19 does not contribute to the issues we see today, but there are many correlations you can make that show Covid did in fact turn society into what it is today. 

For example, since we were all locked into our homes we started using technology way more than it truly benefits us. Even after life had gone back to its seemingly normal self, people continued to live through a screen. 

As convenient as technology may be, it is taking over our lives. Students today can’t give a proper presentation, ask questions in front of the class, or see any issues they are causing for themselves. 

The real world is a beautiful place and social media is distorting the real view we can see with our own two eyes. Put down the phone, go outside, and remember what life used to be like before everyone started stepping into the digital world

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